Transportation Constitutional Law

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Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review D.C. Circuit Decision Hampering Amtrak's On-Time Performance

On June 23rd, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s Writ of Certiorari to review the decision of the D.C. Circuit that many believe may be hampering Amtrak’s leverage with freight railroads and its on-time...more

Congress Considers Transportation Appropriations Provisions, Other Legislation Impacting Aviation

On Capitol Hill, legislators are working to pass a Transportation Appropriations bill that will fund aviation programs during the 2015 fiscal year. As part of the appropriations process, members of the House and Senate are...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

No-Fly List Ruled Unconstitutional

On June 24th, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that the government’s no-fly list, which seeks to prevent people with suspected terrorism ties from traveling to or within the United States, is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was...more

PART TWO: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) – aka Drones Legal Issues: Where Are We Headed?

There have been almost daily news stories about the advent of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAVs”), also referred to as “drones,” and how commercial usage is expected to explode over the next several years. There have been...more

Status Updates - June 2014 #4

..Are threats made on social media protected free speech, or potentially criminal acts? The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutionality of a federal law making it a crime to transmit communications...more

2014 Florida Legislative Post-Session Report

The 2014 Legislature came into session in early March and adjourned in early May. Florida lawmakers passed more than 260 bills, 26 of them applied only to local areas. One proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution was...more

Flash Boys and the Transportation Corridor Act

Michael Lewis' new book, Flash Boys concerns high frequency traders using advance notice of a stock purchase to reap extra profits. Fittingly, the North Carolina Supreme Court's decision in Beroth Oil v. NCDOT was published...more

Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S. – the United States’ theory of land ownership derailed

In Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., the United States Supreme Court held that abandoned railway rights-of-way that had been granted to railroad companies under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 left underlying...more

First in Flight, Tops in Tech, Ascendant in UAS: Drones and North Carolina

The next time you go for a long hike in a national forest with no cell phone service, you might want to take a drone with you so that you can send for help when you break your leg, dehydrate, and need help. ...more

Current Developments in Eminent Domain and Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction (Under Construction - March 2014)

On February 19, 2014, a Nebraska state district court judge invalidated a portion of a Nebraska law that had, until the decision, permitted an alternate, streamlined method of obtaining eminent domain authority for the...more

Nebraska Court Stalls Keystone XL Pipeline, Declares Governor’s Approval Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, a Nebraska trial court struck down a state law allowing Governor Dave Heineman’s to approve the proposed route for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL Pipeline. The decision comes just weeks after the State...more

Court Sides With Federal Government Over Santa Monica Airport

As we reported last month, the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration had filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the City of Santa Monica in federal court seeking to confirm its alleged right...more

Supreme Court Reiterates that New York Times Actual Malice Standard Requires Materially False Statements

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a $1.2 million Colorado defamation verdict in the case of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper—a notable decision for a court that rarely accepts libel...more

Preparing for NTSB Investigative Interviews

Those who face investigative interviews before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) should be fully aware of the applicable rules and regulations. Key topics relating to NTSB investigative interviews include...more

New York’s Highest Court Allows Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax To Stand

It appears the legal battle to invalidate the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT) is finally over. On January 14, the New York Court of Appeals declined to review last year’s appellate court decision...more

Is Your Property Next? California Authorizes Condemnation of Fresno County Property for High Speed Rail Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) first request to seize a parcel in Fresno County through eminent domain has been approved by the State Public Works Board (the “SPWB”), the state agency that...more

InterConnect FLASH! No. 35 - Focusing on Solutions Rather than the Problem

As we flip the page on the calendar to close out the year, the title of the recent editorial in the Arkansas Trucking Report, “Good Things Come to Those Who Change,” really hit home. The editorial focused on the idea of...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - October 28, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus -- Greenhouse Gas Dispute Dismissed Over Lack of Standing to Sue - CourtHouse News - Oct 17: Environmental groups lack standing to challenge the Washington state Ecology Department's...more

Caltrans to Finally Sell Those Homes it Purchased 50+ Years Ago for the 710 Freeway

More than 50 years ago, Caltrans purchased roughly 500 homes under threat of eminent domain within the planned right-of-way for the anticipated construction of the I-710 freeway (linking Monterey Park to Pasadena). That...more

The City of Hayward Ready for an Eminent Domain Battle, Among Others...

In July, the City of Hayward passed several resolutions of necessity to acquire property for its Interstate 880 / State Route 92 Reliever Route Project. The Project will extend Whitesell Street to provide access to State...more

PennDOT to Increase Number of Pennsylvania Bridges with Weight Restrictions [Video]

This past June, Pennsylvania's state legislature failed to enact transportation funding legislation that would have addressed the structurally-deficient condition of many Pennsylvania bridges. As a result of this absence of...more

Property Owners May Not Recover Precondemnation Damages for Decline in Property Values - Appellate Court Rules That Property...

In a ruling that benefits public agencies, a state appellate court yesterday overturned a finding of precondemnation liability against the California Department of Transportation. The court held that a causal relationship...more

Eleventh Circuit Rules Alabama’s Sales Tax on Railroads Violates 4R Act; What’s Next?

In the latest decision in the ongoing saga between CSX and the Alabama Department of Revenue (“ADOR”), the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Alabama’s imposition of sales tax on diesel fuel purchases by...more

Environmental Law Alert - June 2013: Environmental Cases Decided by the Supreme Court During its Recent Term

Although the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and gay marriage earned most of the attention during the 2012-2013 term, a number of significant decisions with regard to...more

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